Writing about Writing

Replacing Books

A few months ago my condo flooded. One of the side effects of this unfortunate event is the bottom portion of my bookshelf was flooded, damaging about 45 books.

Insurance will replace them, of course, but there’s a problem – small to them, big to me:  A number of the damaged books were hardcovers printed 10, 15, or nearly 20 years ago and as such, are irreplaceable.

When questioned, our adjuster simply said to replace them with paperbacks.  While yes, of course I can do this (and am doing so), it really bothers me.

I know there’s nothing I, or they, can really do about it. But knowing that a number of my cherished hardcovers have been scrapped and are being replaced by tiny paperbacks hurts my soul. It really does.

It’s not like I can just accept piles of money and run, either. They have a flat 50% depreciation rate for books, no matter how old or what type. So a $25 hardcover is only worth $12.50 to them.  Besides, I’m one of those people who takes pride in his bookshelf, so not replacing the books was never really an option.

I don’t know if this is something that would bother other people, but it certainly bothers me.

The main lesson here is do not put books on the bottom of a bookshelf. Especially out of print hardcovers!


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